Friday, October 23, 2009

Episode 194 - April Fools

Season 8, Episode 194: April Fools
Original Air Date: 3/24/80
Written by: Dennis Koenig

Directed by: Charles S. Dubin

It's almost April Fool's Day, so Hawkeye, B.J., and Winchester are getting into the spirit by pulling pranks. Potter puts the kibosh on all tomfoolery when he learns that the 4077th is about to be inspected by Col. Tucker, a firebreathing, Army-regulation quoting martinet who, according to Potter, "Picks his teeth with a rusty nail."

Klinger, sensing an opportunity, decides to pull a scam where he'll act like the perfect soldier, dress uniform and all, and then go the full crazy route, hoping that'll earn him a Section 8.

Going against Potter's direct order, Hawkeye, B.J., and Winchester get back at Margaret (after she pranks them all) by removing all the canvas from her tent, leaving everything else untouched.

Margaret runs to the Swamp to protest, where waiting for her in Hawkeye's cot is a skeleton, which elicits a scream from her. The Swamp rats laugh in delight, causing a pillow fight which spills out onto the compound...right into the path of the incoming Col. Tucker (Pat Hingle), who is not amused.

He berates them all, including Potter. The only person he's impressed with is Klinger, who shows up in his dress uniform, with a copy of Stars and Stripes under his arm, ready to direct Tucker to the V.I.P. Tent.

The next day, Tucker has nothing but criticism for the medical staff, hurling insults and sarcasm when they protest his lack of respect for their efforts. In Post Op, he goes further by insulting Margaret who is trying to see his side of things, saying "I hardly need the support of a woman."

After a confrontation outside, Tucker puts them all on report, and then tells them all that he plans to bar them all from medical service and have them court-martialed.

Its at this moment that Klinger does the switcheroo, dressing as Cleopatra while working in his office. Col. Tucker is horrified that "The only good man here" has been broken by the 4077th. Potter can't believe Tucker is falling for this, and they go off to Potter's office to argue about it.

Meanwhile, in the Swamp, Hawkeye, B.J., Margaret, and Winchester decide that if they're going to get busted, they might as well go out in style--pulling off one giant prank on Tucker.

In the O Club, they set it up so Tucker asks for his trademark "shot and a beer", which gets him dumped with a bucket of beer from the rafters. Tucker is apoplectic, red-faced with rage. He screams at Hawkeye, collapsing onto the bar and then onto the floor.

They are all stunned, thinking they've brought on a heart attack. The O Club goes silent, and Tucker asks for Hawkeye. As Hawkeye gets in close, he whispers: "April Fools."

Hawkeye, confused, looks at the others. Then Tucker bolts up from the floor, arm in arm with Potter, laughing hysterically. Turns out this was an April Fools plot hatched by the two of them, weeks in advance, pulled off with perfection. Potter bet that if pushed hard enough, Hawkeye and the rest would pull a giant stunt like this, and they "Fell for a school of hungry carp."

Later, in the O Club, Potter and Tucker--who have been friends since WWI--talk about other pranks they've pulled, and how they also managed to fool Klinger this time, too.

Right on cue, Klinger walks in, still dressed as Cleopatra, asking when he and Tucker are leaving camp. Everyone else breaks up into laughter, prompting Klinger to ask, "What's so funny?"

Fun Facts: This is the final episode of the eighth season.

Favorite Line: Potter and Tucker reminisce about other pranks they pulled:

Potter: "Remember the time we slipped the rubber hamburgers into the chow line?"

Tucker: "Yeah, problem was nobody noticed."


Russell said...

Oh, this could have been a really good episode...even great...but for some reason I don't remember it very fondly. Maybe it was how totally OVER the TOP Pat Hingle's character was. I mean, here we have had eight years of MASH getting the best of Brass, and all of a sudden Tucker is going to court martial all the leads????

I have to admit that when they dropped the beer on him and he has a heart attack, I *was* surprised.

And Klinger's scam was terrifically funny.

I wish there was more comedy like this in the last few years of MASH. (sigh)

What the Parrot Saw said...

This one's a grower for me. Over time, I've grown to like it much more. Potter and Tucker's plot is pretty clever, and it seems obvious that Sherm told Dan how to individually push the Doctor's buttons. He does so unerringly.

Plus, you get one of the final (the final?) Klinger Section 8 capers; though not without a cringe-inducing pun "I want to get home and see my mummy" Ugh.

Rizzo has a great line about the army when he advises Klinger: "Never let them see you smile. Makes them they think they failed somehow!" Right out of Catch-22.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...